Thomas Jefferson Papers

James Harris and Robert McCulloch to Thomas Jefferson, 16 December 1821

From James Harris and Robert McCulloch

Charlottesville 16th Decmr 1821

Dear Sir

The undersigned take this method of informing you—that they are informed that the lumber for the central building1 will shortly be contracted for—under this impression they make the following proposition to you as one of the principal directors—to wit—We will furnish lumber for sd. building to the amount of two thousand one hundred dollars at the current prices of the present year allowing us a due proportion in the bill or bills of heart and sap timber with all heart—And will on the whole amount2 deduct every seventh dollar as a donation to the institution & will wait twelve months for payment if the apropriations already made or which may hereafter be made will not justify the payment sooner. you will plase drop us a line in answer to this at the post office—yr obt Servts

James Harris
Robt. McCulloch

RC (ViU: TJP); in McCulloch’s hand, signed by Harris and McCulloch; addressed: “Thos Jefferson Esqr Monticello”; endorsed by TJ as a letter from McCulloch received 20 Dec. 1821 and so recorded in SJL; with notations by Arthur S. Brockenbrough beneath endorsement (“to furnish plank”) and, on verso of address leaf, a calculation dividing 7 into 2,100 to get $300.

James Harris (1766–1830), miller, was a native of Albemarle County, for which he was appointed a magistrate in 1807. He operated a mill at Millington with his brothers-in-law Robert McCulloch and James McCulloch. At his death in Albemarle, Harris owned personal property valued just under $2,200, including twelve slaves (DNA: RG 15, RWP; Woods, Albemarle description begins Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia, 1901, repr. 1991 description ends , 221–2, 377; Albemarle Co. Will Book, 10:209–10).

central building: the University of Virginia’s Rotunda.

1Manuscript: “bulding.”

2Manuscript: “ammount.”

Index Entries

  • Brockenbrough, Arthur Spicer; as University of Virginia proctor search
  • building materials; lumber search
  • building materials; plank search
  • building materials; timber search
  • Harris, James (1766–1830); and lumber for University of Virginia search
  • Harris, James (1766–1830); identified search
  • Harris, James (1766–1830); letter from search
  • lumber; used at University of Virginia search
  • McCulloch, Robert; and University of Virginia search
  • McCulloch, Robert; letter from search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; building materials for search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; Rotunda (library) search